A Little Bit of Encouragement

I had a student once, sent to me because of different difficulties.He worked in my class (not always something that was done) and tried very hard. When grades came out, he approached my desk.

“Mr. V? I wanted to thank you for the A+.”

I looked at him. “Don’t thank me. You earned it.”

He smiled, but still looked shook. “No one’s ever given me an A+.” And out he walked, out of my special needs classroom, back to the regular school, and I never saw him again.

He was “fixed”. He made it. That one little A+ was all he had needed to boost his confidence high enough to handle what life was throwing him. I truly didn’t give it to him; he earned it. I suppose it may have been the way I looked at his work. I always tended to try to think like the student when I graded papers, especially subjective ones.

I know there are teachers and administrators who disagreed and still do with that approach. Theirs is a “they must fight for everything; don’t give an inch” approach to grades. Somehow, we’ve  lost, I think, our ability to see past our noses and notice what the person really needs in order to succeed.

Snow White did not need someone to tell her to face up to the Wicked Stepmother and fight tooth and nail for what she stood for. What she really needed was a good friend (and she had seven), who merely loved her and helped when things got really tough. But did they fight and yell? No, they simply cared about their friend and because of their care, they put her in a glass casket and the prince found her.

Just think what it would have been like if the dwarves had simply dug a hole under a tree, dropped her in a wooden coffin, and buried it.

I think we really have to look at what a person needs (pray about it, if that works for you) and do that for them instead of giving them a hard way to go all the time.

Love is, truly, the answer.

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  • Aspergers Girls  On April 4, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    “…she really needed was a good friend (and she had seven), who merely loved her and helped when things got really tough.” Yes. Well said. Wonderful story. We all need a good friend who merely loves us and helps when things get tough. Thank you for this story. ~ Sam 🙂


  • Soma Mukherjee  On April 4, 2012 at 8:41 am

    You are so right and what a wonderful job you did.
    I remember teaching 4th grade and there were kids with different challenges in the class..this one year i set seven different papers and study materials for kids ..and they all did so well….loved the face of smiling kids and their parents all proud
    but the moment i left the school( got transferred) they were back to their good ol’ways .
    Its heart warming to see so many angels like you around. Yes love is the key and a lil paitence and understanding does wonders
    That image is beautiful.


    • kindredspirit23  On April 4, 2012 at 8:54 am

      It is so wonderful to see the hearts of children shine. I have had many times over the years where students, who most had given up on, showed their value and bright shining souls to the world when given the chance.
      Too often, you are right, they revert back to old ways when the teacher is no longer around. My story gives me hope because some, even one or two, will overcome that loss and continue to grow on their own; just needed a boost.


  • Linda  On April 4, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Amen! Great post, Scott. Thank you.


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